"Sacred trust" and cover-up


"Superior." This is how the reasoning of the British delegates at the Paris Conference qualified the nature of colonial rule by the Entente powers. Winter 1919, the Spanish flu is making millions of casualties in addition to the war dead.

The British and their separately delegated colonists' wording implied that the Belgian and Portuguese regimes also stayed safe. Thus the excluded Germany was declared inferior. So it would not bring much that the vastly transforming Germans managed to compose a White Book "Die Behandlung der einheimischen Bevölkerung in den kolonialen Besitzungen Deutschlands und Englands. Eine Erwiderung auf das 🇬🇧 Blaubuch vom August 1918: Report on the natives of South-West Africa and their treatment by Germany" (Berlin 1919).

According to the assembled delegations in Paris including United States President Woodrow Wilson as the founding father of the League of Nations, the colonised had been treated badly under the regime of the allied side's youngest competitor, Germany, in colonisation and imperialism. The twin British delegations took their overwhelmed allies to the following declaration: These unfortunates deserved to be ruled by Europeans that properly observed their rights, if not the basics of human dignity. This goes with a specific note for Völkerrecht specialists: Since 1919, it reads that Germany's colonial empire was dissolved according to international law.

Subimperialism. This 1919 variant of high imperialism was an exclusively British one.

At the end of May 1922, the Bondelswarts were brutally attacked. The 29 May assault by British South-African De Havilland DH-9 warplanes left over a hundred people also known as Khoikhoi or Hottentotten dead. As stated in our founding father's centenary title as much as in the introduction above, this British dominion under the lead of Jan Christiaan Smuts had together with allies such as 🇫🇷 and 🇧🇪 been proclaimed fit for the "civilising mission" only months before. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, termed a peace treaty in mainstream historiography, they were empowered to sustain their rule and empire as colonisers that had the interests of the colonised people in mind. All of these "mandatory powers" would be held accountable by the League of Nations. Just like Belgium ruled parts of German East-Africa as a trustee that was supposed to report on a yearly base to this new organisation, the South-West Africa mandate was secured by Pretoria. The League's Permanent Mandates Commission (PMC) had just taken office in Geneva 🇨🇭. How did these institutions perform? Did any of them hold the British/South African bombers accountable?

This particular history and the politics of British actors in Geneva, Pretoria and their "sub-colony" South-West Africa serves as another argument for our published thesis that the League of Nations was aborted. Consequently, the major argument that an undefined state of war returned when the Treaty of Versailles was signed –nominally terminating the 1918 ceasefire – keeps challenging mainstream historiography. Confronted with this challenge for five, ten or a dozen years, the democratic and diplomatic way proved to be a dead end. Another Germany would follow up the early examples of the Bondelswarts as well as the Kemalist Turks in forcefully revising the "democratically" dictated post-war order. In contrast to an average tribe in Africa, both Turkey and Germany successfully demonstrated the use of military means in order to achieve their legitimate goals of revision. As the Turkish campaign of armed resistance proved at the time of the Bondelswarts rising, escape by "hot" warfare promised exactly this measure of success. As a contrast to the International Labour Organisation, the PMC was as manipulated and downplayed from the start, much in a way the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been by the Anglo-American lead over the post-Soviet episode of its existence. Neither the Bondelswarts call for assistance was given a proper follow-up nor any of the British mandatory powers was confronted with sanctions. 


De Bourgraaf, Peter. De eerste wereldvrede [thesis]. Amsterdam 1997.

Dorfseif, Golf (2013). Bondelswarts und Buren-bomber.

Mackenzie Lewis, Gavin Llewellyn. The Bondelswarts rebellion of 1922 [thesis]. Grahamstown 1977.

🐺  Quote ... the P.M.C. covered the essential causes of the 1922 revolt. Unquote, p. 232.